Wednesday 28 November 2012

Cleft checkup

This weekend, I had the pleasure of four days with my beloved children. All to myself, how wonderful. *needle scratches off record*. What I mean to say is, last Friday I had to take a day off work in preparation of a four day single parentathon whilst my wife swanned off to Dubai to a friend's wedding. When the wedding was announced I'd just got back from the wedding I went to in South Africa last year (the one where Clare was about to take off to meet us but Jake had an accident and she had to stay - that one) and it was just too expensive for us both or all to go to. Normally when she goes away for a weekend I decamp to my parents' place, but they also went to the wedding. Ditto my sister. And as Clare's mum does a lot of baby sitting already, I didn't want to ask her. Anyway, so it was just me and the boys and to be fair, they were great. I made sure they were entertained every day and apart from the Monday (which I also took off work by the way) they behaved impeccably. It was my fault for thinking the ordeal was over sooner than it actually was and I let them watch TV all afternoon; an activity which is certain to turn them into Tasmanian devils. Not great when you consider I was trying to paint the kitchen at the time. The point of this is that one of the duties I was left with instructions for was taking Jake to see Professor Haers for his annual checkup. That in itself was something of an accomplishment. I know I'll not get any sympathy from any mothers reading this but for someone whose normal routine is get up, shower, breakfast (maybe), leave, the task of getting both kids up, fed, milked, dressed and out, before getting through rush-hour and parking at a hospital in order to be on time for an appointment, is quite impressive! We went in and I'd forgotten the size of the team we'd originally been given and, having expected to see Prof H and maybe Anne, it was a shock to see all seven of them before me. They were all there, the psychologist, dentist, orthodontist, speech therapist, surgeon, community nurse and one other whose profession escapes me. I took this in my stride as I'd got used to how amazing the set up is for kids and the issues they get born with. Jake, however, found it a touch daunting and went into super shy mode and was curled up in a ball and wouldn't look at me, let alone the audience. Professor Haers wasn't bothered though, he didn't need to see or hear Jake and was happy the shyness was 'age appropriate'. They asked me a few questions and whether I had any concerns at all and also weren't worried about the slight lisp I reported - apparently this is very common in kids, cleft-affected or not. So, this post is much ado about nothing. More to say that we're free for another year. Next September or so we'll go to Guys for a photo session and another chat and the year after we'll be back at Royal Surrey to discuss the operation to graft a part of Jake's hip onto his gum. Sounds pretty nasty and not something I want to worry about for a while. As always, if you're here having recently found out that your son or daughter will be born with a cleft or indeed, that your child has just been born so, then please go back to my first posts around May of seems a long long time ago but I can still remember how we felt our world had been turned upside down, wondering how we'd ever feel like we do now.